The Old New Old Quilt

I just finished making a quilt for my Aunt Thelma (Actually my cousin Thelma once removed, but who can say that every time?). She asked me to make it for her from blocks sewn by her mother Edith many years ago. Some of the blocks were made from dresses Aunt Thelma wore as a child and that was over 75 years ago. (I promised I wouldn’t give Aunt Thelma’s exact age!) The age and the memories are part of the wonderful oldness of the quilt.

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The newness is found in the construction, the backing (which only looks old), the muslin used for the sashing and the gingham border. All these were used, of course, to add to the old look of the whole quilt. Are you confused yet?

I couldn’t find the pattern name listed anywhere. It’s possible Miss Edith made it up herself or it was a local favorite. I did find a similar pattern called Rolling Stone, which certainly seems to fit. It is however, a very old pattern, which I just adore.

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The quilting stitch is also an old familiar style called Feathering. It gives the quilt a charm and age that is so appropriate.

The quilt is going with me to California in May to be given to Aunt Thelma. She will be so surprised! She has no idea it is done and ready to be loved and adored, just like her dresses were so many years ago.

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A Heavenly Retreat

I just returned from heaven! Well, not exactly. It was actually a quilt retreat, but it sure felt like heaven.

Twenty women gathered for four days to sew, talk, laugh, share and produce quilts. Does it get any better than that? I think not!

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This is what heaven surely looks like. Maybe not quite so cluttered, but certainly as colorful, as friendly, as relaxed, as exciting and as inspiring. I can hardly think of a place I’d rather be than in a room like this, filled with people like these.

IMG_0856Quilters generally are the most friendly, giving people. They will share whatever they have, whether it be knowledge, experience, fabric, notions, space, tips. Whatever you need, if they have it, it’s yours.

And creativity? Oh my goodness! A quilt retreat is a wondrous overdose of creative thought, expression and production. Just look at these examples from the design walls.

IMG_0835Aren’t the colors in this quilt spectacular?

IMG_0837Already getting the Christmas spirit. What a cutie!

IMG_0838This quilt still has borders to be put on, but it is coming along nicely.

IMG_0840A modern version of Log Cabin.

IMG_0842What a beautiful blending of shades and colors.

IMG_0844A close up view of previous quilt to show the details of the blending. Isn’t it magnificent?

IMG_0845Isn’t it amazing how this quilt appears to curve?

IMG_0846How to make a curve in a quilt with straight lines.

IMG_0847Doesn’t this look like a garden of flowers?

IMG_0852A most superb star! With the sharpest points!

IMG_0853The center of the star. Amazing!

IMG_0857This quilt tells it’s own story of living in New York, Central Park, bicycle paths, a building called The Lyric, The Empire State Building, The Statue of Liberty and . . . . .

IMG_0859of course, quilting.

So I’m back from heaven with quilts done, quilts started, quilts worked on, quilts planned. I laughed harder than I’d laughed in a long while, ate more than I should have, slept less than normal, sewed til it hurt and had the most wonderful, most productive, most exhausting time. I wish I was back there now.

Loss

She didn’t know what year it was. She couldn’t remember anyone’s name, including her own. She didn’t even know where she was. All seemed lost.

But when I said to her “Look at those beautiful Hydrangeas!”, she said, “Yes, but what about the lowdrangeas?”

Maybe she hadn’t lost the really important things after all.

The Joy Of A True Wish

875-0-WishHave you ever thrown a coin in a fountain or a well and made a wish? Sure, everyone has. But did it ever come true? No, never!
Have you ever bought a lottery ticket or bet on a horse? Again, most everyone has. But did you ever win? No, hardly ever.
How about wishing on a star? Did that ever work? Really?
imagesSo, why do we keep making so many empty wishes? Why do we keep thinking magic will make everything better? And why do we keep hoping our lives will change with no effort on our part?

It’s the pull of the fairytale life. The life where all is well and happy with the wave of a wand or a twitch of a nose or the intervention of another person.
We make wishes all the time – I wish I could . . . . .I wish I was . . . . . I wish I had . . . . . I

wisheswish I might . . . . . But what if, instead of just empty wishes, we combined them with planning, effort, commitment, endurance, strength, willpower and fortitude? What could be accomplished if our wants were not just empty pleas but were true desires for change and improvement? True wishes would look more like: I know I can . . . . . I’m sure I will . . . . . I promise to . . . . . They would produce change. Lives would improve. Work would get done.

And a role model might just appear.role model 2

 

Mary’s Bohemian Dress

I spotted a dress like this in a catalog for about $80. I was stunned! It was made out of cotton fabric, had cotton trim and a fabric bow. I thought it was so cute and I knew I could make it for less than $18-$20. And I did!

IMG_0809I added ribbon bows on the shoulders instead of fabric bows. There are six different fabrics in the skirt, which gives it the Bohemian look.

IMG_0810  The bodice fabric contains all the colors used in the dress. Cotton trim was added under the bodice and at the hem.

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I used purple buttons on the back to match the ribbon.

IMG_0812All in all, I think it is a pretty cute little dress. And now that I think about it, cuter and certainly cheaper than the catalog dress.

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The Joy Of Strong Women

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They don’t waste time feeling sorry for themselves. Strong women don’t sit around bemoaning their fate or crying about how others have treated them. Instead, they take responsibility for their lives and realize that it isn’t always easy or fair.

They don’t give away their power. Strong women don’t allow others to control them and they don’t give anyone else power over them. They understand that they are in control of their own emotions and they have a choice in how they respond.

They don’t shy away from change. Strong women don’t try to avoid change. Instead, they welcome positive change and strive to be flexible. They understand that all life evolves and believe in their abilities to adapt.

They don’t waste time or energy on things they can’t control. You won’t hear strong women complaining about lost luggage or traffic jams. Instead, they focus on what is controllable in their lives. They recognize that sometimes the only thing they can control is their attitude.

They don’t try to please everyone. Strong women recognize that they don’t need to make all people happy all the time. They’re not afraid to say no or speak up when necessary. They strive to be fair and kind, but can handle people who may respond in a negative manner.

They don’t fear taking risks. They don’t take reckless or foolish risks but see calculated risks as very doable. Strong women spend time weighing the pros and cons before making a decision and they are fully informed of the potential results before they take action.

They don’t dwell on the past. Strong women don’t waste time dwelling on what has happened and can’t be changed, or wishing things could be different. They acknowledge their past and learn from it. However, they don’t constantly relive bad experiences or fantasize about the glory days. Instead, they live for the present and plan for the future.

They don’t keep repeating mistakes. Strong women accept responsibility for their behavior and learn from their mistakes. As a result, they move on and make better decisions in the future.

They don’t resent other’s success. Strong women can appreciate and celebrate other people’s success in life. They don’t feel jealous or cheated when others may surpass them. Instead, they recognize that real success comes after hard work and are willing to work hard for their own advancement.

They don’t give up after a failure. Strong women don’t view failure as a reason to quit. Instead, they use it as an opportunity to grow and improve. They are willing to keep trying until they get it right.

They don’t fear being alone. Strong women can tolerate time alone and they don’t fear silence. They aren’t afraid to be alone with their thoughts and they can use downtime to be productive. They enjoy their own company and aren’t dependent on others for companionship and entertainment. Strong women can be happy all by themselves.

They don’t feel entitled. Strong women don’t feel the world owes them anything in life. They don’t feel that others should take care of them or that anyone must give them anything. Instead, they look for opportunities to share from their own wealth.

They don’t expect immediate results. Whether they are improving their health or starting a new business, strong women don’t expect an immediate turn around. Instead, they apply their skills and time to the best of their ability and understand that real change takes time.